The RAC has launched an electric vehicle (EV) leasing service in collaboration with Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, to encourage greater uptake of EVs in the UK.

A range of EVs will be available on the site, with prices starting at £227.99 per month for a five-door Nissan Leaf 100kw N-Connecta 40kWh.

The RAC said that while prices are extremely competitive, EVs can work out cheaper than petrol models when factoring in savings on fuel. For example, 10,000 miles of petrol for a car capable of doing 50 miles per gallon would set drivers back in the region of £1,179 a year at the current UK average price of 131p a litre in stark contrast to equivalent electricity cost of around £167 (based on Nissan Leaf price) – a saving of more than £1,000 (£1,012) a year.

Additionally, as EVs are exempt from car tax, there’s a further saving of nearly £500 over three years which equates to £163 a year. This means that between fuel and car tax, EV drivers can be over £1,300 a year better off than those in petrol or diesel cars, said RAC.

Customers on the site can also select a service and maintenance plan for their vehicle. All leasing agreements also come with breakdown cover as standard.

Sarah Winward-Kotecha, RAC director of EVs, said: “We know from RAC research there’s a growing desire among drivers to go electric but that the high upfront cost tends to be the biggest barrier to take-up.

“While leasing isn’t the most common form of car finance, we believe it’s a very sensible choice for those wanting to drive an EV as it can work out cheaper than other car finance options. With leasing you don’t own the car, so its value at the end of the term is the finance company’s concern – you can just give the car back at the end of the agreed term, or take a new leasing deal on the latest new model featuring the latest technology.”

Customers can choose both the length of their leasing agreement and choose how much the initial rental payment is – usually the equivalent of one, three, six or 12 months’ rental payments.